A Mesa priest who also served as chaplain of Seton Catholic Preparatory High School has been removed from his ministry amid allegations that he sent a naked image to a 17-year-old boy.
Father Timothy Seavey also had been assigned to Queen of Peace Catholic Church in downtown Mesa, only a block away from police headquarters.
The accusations against Seavey were reported by the victim to Seton Catholic High School after the victim recognized the sender as the school’s chaplain, said Detective Nik Rasheta, a Mesa police spokesman.
He said the school also followed state mandatory reporting practices by notifying the Mesa police and the Diocese of Phoenix.
Rasheta also said that Seavey, 31, has not been arrested or charged with any crimes.
The diocese removed Seavey from his priestly duties while the case is under investigation and its official newspaper removed all stories involving Seavey.
While no background information was available on Seavey, an Instagram post shows him celebrating his first mass in 2017, indicating he has been a priest for about three years.
“It is comforting to know these allegations were forwarded and not shielding him,’’ Rasheta said.
A complication in the case is that the boy identified himself as 18 in his online dating profile, representing that he was not a minor.
“Fr. Timothy Seavey, a priest of the Diocese of Phoenix, has been removed from ministry following allegations that he used a social networking app to send inappropriate images of a sexual nature to an individual who identified as an adult in the app, but who was later determined to be a minor,’’ a statement from the diocese said.
“The Diocese of Phoenix is cooperating with Mesa Police in its investigation and has removed Fr. Seavey’s faculties to minister as a priest. He had served at Queen of Peace Parish since 2017, and as chaplain at Seton Catholic Preparatory since 2018.’’
Rasheta said the image was that of a naked adult male.